Read Matthew 14.13-21
- What might the disciples have thought when Jesus said he could feed 5,000 people with such a small amount of food?
- How might we improve at sharing what we have?
Activities to respond to the reading
Meeting a need
Prepare some care packages for the needy in your community
You will need: paper bags or cardboard boxes, pens; items for donating to local homeless/food bank charities, e.g. toiletries, canned food (you may need to research the charities and what they will accept).
- Encourage the children to think about those in need in their own communities, e.g. homeless, hungry, refugee families, and introduce the idea of doing something to help them.
- Give each child a paper bag or cardboard box to decorate and write and draw encouraging sayings, e.g. ‘You are cared about. I hope you like these things.’ Ask the children to fill their bags/boxes with things people might need – toiletries, canned food, warm clothes, etc.
- Pray over the bags as a group, then donate them to a local homeless shelter/food bank project in your area or keep collecting until a time when it is safe to do so.
Make and share food together
You will need: access to an oven, pizza bases and toppings. Be aware of any food allergies in the group.
- Have pizza bases, tomato sauce, cheese and various topping ingredients laid out. Invite the children, one at a time, to choose one item each.
- Encourage the children to contribute their item as you begin to make pizzas together, reminding them that sharing makes the whole experience better for everyone.
- Cook and share the pizzas together.
Discover what you have to share
You will need: small pieces of card in the shapes of bread and fish, pens/pencils, a large piece of paper or card.
- Ask the children to think about what they are good at, what they enjoy doing and what their greatest strengths are. Introduce the concept of offering these passions and skills to God for him to use.
- Encourage each child to write their own gifts on the bread and fish shapes, to decorate them and to add their name.
- Invite the children to come and place them onto the large collage sheet. As they do, make the connection between the crowd who were with Jesus and your children offering their best to God.
Offer your best to God
You will need: pitta bread or something similar to ‘tear and share’.
- Sit in a circle. Pass around pitta bread (be aware of food allergies).
- Each person when they receive the bread breaks off a piece and passes it to the next person, saying the words, ‘God, help us to be generous’, until everyone has a piece to eat.
- Finish with a prayer thanking God for his generosity to us.